Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer
October is domestic violence month and Sigma Sigma Sigma, or Tri Sigma, has partnered with the Women’s Center to help bring awareness to the Women’s Center phone drive for victims of domestic abuse.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence which is affiliated with the Merryman House, Murray’s local domestic crisis center, sponsors the Women’s Center.
The Women’s Center collects old phones all year for domestically abused men and women. This is the first year Tri Sigma has partnered with the Women’s Center to bring awareness to their phone drive, but they have helped with other domestic violence initiatives in the past.
“We wanted to give a helping hand,” Emily Jensen, an active member of Tri Sigma, said. “It is an important thing and we want to give back and help these people. We want to help the community and the people around us.”
Verizon has agreed to wipe the donated phones clean and program them with emergency numbers such as law enforcement, a domestic abuse hotline, medical help and legal help to provide victims a way out of an abusive relationship. Other phones are sold to raise money for education and programming.
Nearly one in four women and one in seven men are or have been in a violent relationship and suffered abuse. So far this month the Women’s Center has donated 10 phones, while Tri Sigma has collected six for the victims of domestic violence.
“Recycled phones are a unique way to raise money for programming, education and resources for survivors,” said Abigail French, director of the Women’s Center.
“This gives those who are in domestic abuse a way to get to a safe place where someone can provide them help,” Jensen said.
The Women’s Center also collects items for the Merryman House and provides them office space to bring their services to Murray State. The Women’s Center hopes to educate the campus community and increase knowledge of resources available for those in need.
Domestic Violence awareness month is a month dedicated to ending domestic violence. America commits itself to secure victims’ safety from an abusive relationship and make those feel secure in their surroundings again.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects old cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, digital cameras and video game systems that are refurbished and sold. A profit of these sales goes to victims of domestic abuse to keep them free from abuse.
“This is an easy way for students to be involved in making a real difference,” French said. “So many of us have old phones lying around in a drawer or a box not being used at all. By simply donating it to this program we are able to be a part of life-changing resources both locally and nationally.”